Untitled Document
October 24, 2017 [GMT]
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JO claims Rs. 1.5 m collected on day 1
[Saturday 2017-09-16 18:00]

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday claimed to have collected close to Rs. 1.5 million in their first day of the ‘Pindapatha’ programme launched by the Buddhist monks in Colombo. The monks engaged in the practice to collect money to pay the fine of former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Anusha Pelpita. JO Member and UPFA MP Gamini Lokuge speaking to the Daily News, said that over 350 Buddhist monks participated in the programme.

OPV provided by the Indian Government arrives at the Colombo harbour
[Saturday 2017-09-16 18:00]

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) provided by the Indian Government to the Sri Lanka Navy, in a bid to expand its operational capabilities, arrived at the Colombo harbour this morning (16 September 2017). The ship was received by the Navy in accordance with naval traditions upon her arrival.

Need for DNA analysis and identification of exhumed remains in Sri Lanka – US committee
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

The United States Senate Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific stated that there was a need to prosecute perpetrators of mass atrocities and DNA analysis of remains in several countries, including Sri Lanka, in a report released last week. The report, which opposed a 92% cut in US aid to Sri Lanka, said that the committee “recognizes that there is an ongoing need for DNA analysis and identification of exhumed remains”.

Five policemen in Jaffna undergrads’ murder bailed
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

The Jaffna High Court yesterday granted bail to the five police officers remanded in connection with the murder of two university students in Jaffna. The suspects were released on a Rs.50,000 cash bail and two Rs. 200, 000 sureties each. The Court impounded the suspects’ passports. Two university students riding on a motorcycle in Jaffna died suspiciously on October 21, 2016 and investigations revealed bullet marks on the corpses. Five Police Officers manning a checkpoint in Jaffna close to where the students were found wounded were arrested and subsequently remanded in connection with the incident.

President to address UN General Assembly on September 19
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to visit New York, US to attend the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). The President is due to address the General Assembly in the evening of September 19. This is the third time that President Maithripala Sirisena is addressing the UN General Assembly.

‘Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’ Exercise
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

The Army-pioneered mock Exercise ‘Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’ was held yesterday morning at Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee where a simulated multi-pronged joint amphibious attack on enemy hideouts was carried out. Around 2108 infantrymen and mechanized infantrymen, inclusive of 370 sailors and 197 airmen and 69 foreign service personnel, representing 13 countries, either as participants or observers participated in the Operation.

Sri Lanka to attend island meet in China to discuss concerns
[Friday 2017-09-15 18:00]

Oceanic administrators from 13 island countries, including Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Mauritius, will gather in southeast China’s Fujian Province on September 21 to discuss cooperation in sustainable development. Participants will discuss sustainable economic development, environmental protection, climate change and disaster prevention and reduction, and sea water desalination at the round-table conference in Pingtan, an island in Fujian, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Don’t hold polls this year: Govt. tells polls commission
[Friday 2017-09-15 18:00]

The government has informed the Commissioner of Elections not to hold polls till January next year, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. Mr. Wickremesinghe revealed this at a meeting he had with the Colombo District Public servants at Temple Trees last morning to educate them on the government’s policies.

TGTE held an event in British Parliament on Disappearance in Sri Lanka Top News
[Thursday 2017-09-14 19:00]

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) held an event at the British Parliament Main Building on September 7th to highlight the plight of thousands of Tamils who have disappeared in Sri Lanka. Several British Members of Parliament and other international dignitaries spoke at the event and called for the UN to find the plight of those disappeared and to bring those responsible to face justice.

Sri Lanka: 2 Years On, Scant Progress on UN Resolution
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

United Nations member countries at the Human Rights Council in Geneva should press Sri Lanka to promptly meet the targets of the council’s October 2015 resolution for transitional justice, Human Rights Watch said today. Sri Lanka should put forward a time-bound and specific implementation plan on the four transitional justice mechanisms it agreed to establish as pledged in the resolution.

Sri Lanka’s OMP welcomed with call for ‘credible commissioners’
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

The signing of a gazette to operationalise the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) has been welcomed by the US, EU and Canada on Wednesday, with calls for “credible commissioners” to be swiftly appointed. The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said the move was an “important step forward” for advancing reconciliation. “A well-funded and robust OMP with independent & well qualified commissioners will give hope to families from all communities who seek answers,” he tweeted.

Verdict of Vidya murder case on Sep. 27
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

Verdict on the Vidya murder case will be delivered by the Jaffna High Court on September 27. Meanwhile, former senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe, remanded on charges of allowing a suspect arrested in connection with Vidya’s rape and killing to escape from police custody, was today released on bail by Kayts Magistrate A.M.M.Riyaz.

EU says many areas of reform yet to be delivered
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

The European Union (EU) on Wednesday praised the Sri Lankan Government for the progress made in advancing human rights, labour and environmental standards but stressed that there were still many areas where reform had yet to be delivered. EU Ambassador Tung-Lai Margue, who met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Wednesday afternoon, said the Government’s excellent cooperation is a reminder of how much the situation has changed in the country including real advances in human rights.

Weeratunga and Palpita request bail
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Pelpita, yesterday filed an application in the High Court of Colombo, asking for bail. They were convicted last week for spending Rs. 600 million belonging to the Telecommication Regulatory Commission, to distribute ‘Sil Redi’ in the run up to the last Presidential election. They were each sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of 20 lakhs and the payment of Rs. 50 million compensation to the TRC. Subsequently they filed an appeal, seeking to set aside the judgement and sentence. Thereafter they had filed a bail application.

[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

The government will introduce the Sign Language Bill to recognise sign language as an official language in Sri Lanka. The draft bill submitted to Cabinet by Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage, S.B. Dissanayake was approved on Tuesday. Official statistics estimate the population of deaf persons to be 389,677.

Govt. does not trust the Tamil community - Wigneswaran
[Tuesday 2017-09-12 18:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday said that the government could even double the strength of the police, currently deployed in the Northern Province, to pave the way for total withdrawal of armed forces. The former Supreme Court judge said so in response to a query made by The Island in the wake of him making representations to the Most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera, Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter, about what he called an ‘intimidating military presence’ in the North.

Sri Lankan sentenced to 4 years for smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada
[Tuesday 2017-09-12 18:00]

A Canadian court today sentenced a Sri Lankan man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada to four years in prison. A British Columbia Supreme Court judge sentenced Kunarobinson Christhurajah who was found guilty to the offence under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for bringing nearly 500 Sri Lankan Tamils in a rickety cargo ship to Canada in 2010. However Christhurajah walked free after receiving his prison sentence as the judge has considered the seven years of time served behind bars awaiting trial, the Canadian Press reported.

Deputy Tourism Minister removed from post
[Tuesday 2017-09-12 18:00]

Deputy Minister of Tourism Promotion and Christian Affairs Arundika Fernando removed from his post by President Maithripala Sirisena with effect from today, the President Media Division said.

US legislators oppose 92% cut in aid to SL
[Tuesday 2017-09-12 18:00]

A US Senate committee has opposed Trump Administration’s proposal of a drastic 92 per cent cut in US aid to Sri Lanka, citing the geographical and strategic location of the country, the PTI reported today. The Senate Appropriations Committee had said in a report that it won’t support President Trump’s budget request for Sri Lanka, which proposed a 92 per cent reduction in assistance from the prior fiscal year.

Sabaragamuwa PC approves proposed 20A
[Tuesday 2017-09-12 18:00]

The proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution was today approved by the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council with 29 councillors voting in favour and eight members against. The Joint Opposition councilors voted against the draft.

Gota to be summoned by CID over crushing of 2012 prison riot
[Tuesday 2017-09-12 18:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former DIG Anura Senanayake, former Army commander Jagath Jayasuriya and several top ranking security establishment personnel would be summoned before the CID to obtain their statements with regard to the Welikada prison riot where 27 inmates were shot dead. Police headquarters sources said the CID had already questioned and recorded statements from several top officers of the army and police with regard to the incident.

Zeid notes frustration over slow pace of reforms in Sri Lanka
[Monday 2017-09-11 18:00]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today called on Sri Lanka to swiftly operationalize the Office of Missing Persons and to move faster on other essential confidence building measures, such as release of land occupied by the military, and resolving long-pending cases registered under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Vigneswaran blames AG
[Monday 2017-09-11 18:00]

The Attorney General's Department were informed to expedite hearing cases of LTTE suspects in prison custody, but it does not seem to happen as requested, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran said. He was speaking to the media after visiting the LTTE suspects held at the Bogambara Dumbara Prison on September 9.

EPC, WPC approves proposed 20A
[Monday 2017-09-11 18:00]

The proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution was today approved by the Eastern Provincial Council with 25 councillors voting in favour and eight against.

Sri Lankan President reiterates protecting war heroes from foreign forces
[Monday 2017-09-11 18:00]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today said the government's policy program regarding the security of the war heroes is very strong. The President reiterated that the government defends the security of all war heroes from the Army Commander to the last soldier and the government would not allow any foreign forces to lay hands on war heroes who laid down their lives to defend the country. The President made these remarks participating in a function held to vest a water purification system at the Ritigahawewa Viharaya in Horowpathana today.

Counting of local poll votes at polling centre
[Monday 2017-09-11 18:00]

The Election Commission has decided to carry out counting votes at the polling centres at the next local government polls. This decision was made with the intention of facilitating counting of votes efficiently. Election Commission sources said that while the new Election Act had made regulatory provisions for this, equipping election centres with facilities necessary for counting was currently taking place.

Tri-forces, police, CDF didn’t commit war crimes – Sajith
[Monday 2017-09-11 18:00]

None of the members of tri-forces, police or civil defence force had committed any war crimes, Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa said on Saturday.

Good governance government evades Tamils' problems due to fear MR will return - Wigneswaran
[Sunday 2017-09-10 19:00]

The Chief Minister of Northern Province CV Wigneswaran says good governance government will not really seek solutions to the problems of the Tamil people in the North due to the fear that Mahinda Rajapaksa will be able to return to power. "The government is still scared that Mahinda Rajapaksa will come back if something good is done to the Tamil people," the Chief Minister told BBC Sandeshaya.

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